IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Two Girls in Argentina

June 29, 2023

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Washington, D.C. — On June 21, 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 35/23, granting precautionary protection measures in favor of two girls, C.P.R. (aged 14) and J.P.R. (aged 12), as it deems there to be serious, urgent risk of irreparable damage to the protection of the family, as well as to the beneficiaries' integrity and identity, taking into account the best interests of the child.

According to the petition, the girls' father, Eduardo Porretti, has not been in contact with his daughters since 2017, when he was issued a restraining order preventing him from approaching them after being accused of the crime of sexual abuse. Despite being acquitted in 2018 and having made repeated requests before the civil judge to be permitted to resume contact with the two girls and for the restraining order to be lifted, Mr. Porretti remains unable to re-establish a bond with his daughters.

The IACHR weighed up the information provided by the State regarding the criminal and civil proceedings in question. This included the court's consideration of the fact that Mr. Porretti had been accused of sexual abuse, the Forensic Medical Corps' examinations of the girls, and the recommendations made by health professionals who examined the situation before, during, and after Mr. Porretti's accusal. No grounds were found for continuing with the charges that had been brought against the girls' father and, therefore, he was found not to be criminally liable, such that the charges were dismissed as of May 2018. The IACHR took into account the fact that the competent court has been monitoring the girls' situation, mainly by analyzing psychological reports. In July 2021, the court allegedly requested an evaluation to establish whether it would be possible to move forward with the process of re-establishing the relationship between the girls and their father.

However, despite nearly six years having passed since the charges were dismissed, the IACHR found that the restraining order has remained in force and the ruling of National Civil Trial Court No. 87 has not been reviewed, despite the existence of factors that would allow the decision to be reconsidered.

After analyzing the allegations of fact and law put forward by the two parties, the IACHR believes that the information in question demonstrates, prima facie, that the girls C.P.R. and J.P.R. are in a serious, urgent predicament that may imply irreparable harm to the protection of the family and the beneficiaries' integrity and identity.

Consequently, the IACHR requests that Argentina adopt the necessary measures to safeguard the rights of C.P.R. and J.P.R. Specifically, the State must immediately assess the girls' current circumstances through the competent authorities and relevant experts. It must also evaluate the precautionary provisional measure issued in October 2017 by National Civil Trial Court No. 87, which prohibited contact between the girls and their biological father, taking into account the current circumstances and the best interests of the child, according to international standards on the matter.

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the State does not entail a prejudgment on any petition that may eventually be filed before the inter-American system to allege that the rights protected by the American Convention and other applicable instruments have been violated.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 140/23

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